National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) today said it has halted trading in e-series products, the only contracts available on the exchange platform, as a precautionary measure. The exchange has taken this step as sources last night had said that the Consumer Affairs Ministry is expected to soon issue an notification to bar trading in e-series on NSEL.
The exchange is grappling with the problem of payment settlement of about Rs 5,600 crore after the suspension of all one-day forward contracts. "We have not yet received government order, but as abundant precaution, we will not commence trading in e-series at 10:00am," NSEL said on its website. The exchange said it "will check with the authorities to find out the facts. In any case we will fully comply with the government order."
NSEL offers e-series contracts in gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, nickel and platinum. On July 31, the NSEL suspended trade in all contracts except 'e-series' following the government's direction not to launch new contracts because of violation of some rules. Under e-series contracts, retail investors can buy and sell commodities in demat form. This is a unique market segment, which functions like the cash segment in equities, but offers commodities in the demat form in smaller denominations. The clearing and settlement, pay-in and pay-out mechanism on the NSEL is based on T+2 (settlement in 2 days) cycle.